Are bulking diets scientifically proven?

I was just wondering if there is actually scientific evidence that bulking diets produce more muscle growth that say, just eating at maintenance?

What actually happens when you eat more food? what makes that body decide to turn it into muscle instead of fat?

The reason i am asking is because i was looking through articles at this website called:

and basically theres and article in there where the guys are saying extra calories only add fat and no extra muscles. here it is:

anyway i would like to hear pauls and everyones thoughts on this.

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Jan 20, 2012
Bulking is an excuse to get fat.
by: Paul from


To answer your question there is and there isn't evidence to support a "bulking" diet. It all comes down to your definition of a "bulking diet" and basic physiology.

For the most part bulking is just an excuse to eat crap and get fat.

It's just about balancing calories and watching what you eat. If you're training hard and stimulating muscle growth, which you should be, then take in a small surplus of calories to enable muscle growth. That could be anywhere as little as 500 kcals. Often a glass of milk is all you need to develop bigger muscle and tissue without adding fat.

If on the other hand you eat say an additional 4,000 kcals in food you don't need because the stimulation your body is under doesn't require 4,000 kcals extra you'll get very fat very quickly.

The trick is to monitor and watch yourself. If after a week or even 2 weeks you record having increased fat% then simply reduce the calories till you are seeing increases in your weight, but not in your body fat.

All too often people "bulk" and see it as an excuse to over eat. The truth is if you aim to add 10lbs of lean muscle to your body of a 12 month period (a reasonable goal) then you only need an extra 16g of protein a day, that's about a glass of milk. You only really need to go slightly beyond maintenance levels.

A bulk means harder training, not over eating. Create maximal stimulation you'll get bigger, your body has no other choice. Studies have shown that with proper training, ie really High Intensity you can continue to build muscle on a starvation diet.

I recommend 2 dietary sources in chapters 47-48 of 7 Seconds to A Perfect Body and there's a whole book on nutrition in Project Dragon.

In Project Dragon you'll see I also have my own personal bulking diet - that I used to add 40 lbs of muscle to my frame in a matter of weeks. I need to take in 6,000 kcals or there abouts on training days. That's not over eating that was the necessary amount needed to support my metabolism during very intense training. If I had eaten under that I wouldn't have developed as much muscle as I did. I didn't put ob body fat because I was using all that energy. If I took in 6,000 kaals today - with a much easier workout schedule I'd get real fat real quick.

I hope that clarifies it. Figure out how much muscle you want to add, figure out over how much time and then adjust your calories above maintenance to reflect that.

Don't eat more for the sake of eating more. Eat more to support growth when you are giving your body the proper stimulus. Otherwise you're just being a pig. ;-)

Hope that helps,


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